Sunday 29 May 2016

The Power of Storytelling: Kelly's Story

My name is Kelly Bishop, I’m 23 years old, and I live in New York. I currently write for 6 different online publications and am continuing to grow my online writing profile. In this specific blog, everything I write about is autobiographical, from my struggle with depression to funny experiences in my life. I turn to this blog in hope to both entertain people and help them recognize and cope with their own problems.   


What inspired you to share your story?

Writing is the vehicle I have always used to express myself. I can struggle opening up to people and being vulnerable, but I find it much easier to be when I can make sense of my thoughts and feelings and put it into words on paper. I already journaled regularly about how I felt and what I was going through, so it finally made sense to turn those struggles into relatable articles online. 

Has telling your story helped you?

Telling my story definitely helped me because it was such a satisfying release; I finally was putting down all of these feelings that I’ve been pushing to the back of my mind. It was a cathartic experience to write focusing solely on myself. It gave me the confidence to continue writing and addressing the topic of mental health in general. And by doing so, I got to understand myself more and was able to actually make sense of how I felt. 

Has telling your story helped anyone else?

Since starting to write about my own personal issues and mental health issues, I have received so much positive feedback. I get so many comments and emails from readers who thank me because they feel like they finally have someone to relate to. They discover that they aren’t actually alone with their problems, and they are happy that someone can articulate what they never could. Writing helps connect you to other people; it helps us all relate to each other and find comfort in each other’s words. 

What did you find hardest about sharing your story?

Naturally it was a bit difficult to open up and expose a sensitive side of myself, especially when people I didn’t even know would read it. I didn’t want to be judged or perceived a certain way, so it was scary in the beginning. I didn’t know if it an article discussing my own depression was worth putting online. But once I did it, it was extremely empowering to put myself out there for all to see. Once I began to receive feedback about how grateful people were that I shared, it got easier and easier. I wasn’t only instilling confidence in myself, but I was helping other readers as well. 

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of sharing their story?

Do it!! People don’t realize how effective writing can be for your peace of mind. Even if you journal about something and don’t show anyone, it still is important to get out how you feel, what you’re thinking. Through writing, you can work through your problems, express yourself in a non-intimidating way, and the best part is that people might relate and feel that much better about their own problems. 
Your confidence will escalate once you realize other people are on the exact same page as you, and you’ll see how important it is for you to share your story with yourself and others.

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